Plugs

Kat Beyer’s Cabal story “A Change In Government” has been nominated for a BSFA award for best short fiction.

Angela Slatter’s story ‘Frozen’ will appear in the December 09 issue of Doorways Magazine, and ‘The Girl with No Hands’ will appear in the next issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

Edd Vick’s latest story, “The Corsair and the Lady” may be found in Talebones #37.

Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

The problem, you see, is the endings

by Jonathan Wood

INT. DAY. TEMPLE OF THE MUSE


A large, opulent, but dusty chamber.  Vaguely classical.  Tapestries hang and heavy persian rugs spread out.  They are a little tatty.  A woman reclines on a chaise-lounge.  She is wearing a toga and slightly resembles my wife.  I enter.


ME

Hello!


MUSE

Oh.  Hello.


ME

Yes, hi.  Just a quick visit, I’m afraid.  Lots to do.  To write, actually.  That’s the reason I’m here, you see.  I’ve got this piece due for Daily Cabal so I was-


MUSE

How’s the novel coming on?


ME

What?  The…  Oh, the novel?  Well… yeah.  I mean.  It was going pretty well.  Was going… yeah.  You know?


MUSE

Was going?


ME

Yeah…  Yeah, I was going pretty good on it.  Got 12k down.  Good start, I thought.  But then… I don’t know.  I was playing with the voice.  Trying to get some things…  I don’t know.  It just, you know…  Just sort of ground to a halt.


MUSE

Ground to a halt?


ME

Yeah.  But, well… you know.  I mean…  Anyway.  So, there’s this Daily Cabal piece.  And it’s due tomorrow, so I was really hoping you-


MUSE

Your inspiration for the novel—it wasn’t enough?


ME

What?  No!  No that’s not what I’m saying at all.  No, no, no.  Not the inspiration.  Of course not.  Me.  Just me.  I didn’t…  I couldn’t…


[Silence.  Of the frosty variety]


ME

So this Daily Cabal piece…


MUSE

How is it going to end?


ME

What?  The ending?  Well, you know,  Kind of dependent on the beginning.  And that’s where, you know, I was really kind of hoping you could, maybe…


MUSE

Not worried it’s just going to grind to a halt?


ME

What?  No.  I mean…. No.  Of course not.  If you could just…


[More silence]


ME

Just a little…  Look, it won’t grind to a halt.  I just…  The novel…  It…


[More silence]


ME

Look…


[Silence]


ME

Please?


[Silence]


ME

Just a little…


[Silence]


ME

If you could just…


[Silence]


ME

I mean…


[Silence]


ME

Please?


[Silence]


ME

Nothing?


[Silence]


ME

Oh wait…  I see… I…  Oh…  You’re…  Oh…


[Silence]


ME

Crap.

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